San Luis Obispo County's Stretch of Highway 1

Wide Open, Untamed, and Ready to Explore

Imagine the road trip of your life, gliding past uncrowded beaches and wine grapes ripening in the sun. California dreaming? Think again.

Highway 1 is the most iconic roadway in California, but not all sections are created equal. The length that passes along the coast through San Luis Obispo County (known as SLO CAL) brims with the best of the Highway 1 experience. And as the gateway to Big Sur, this SLO CAL stretch is well within reach.

What sets us apart? One-hundred miles of Pacific coastline, half of which are protected. A national marine sanctuary and a national estuary. Thirteen state parks. An elephant seal rookery and Monarch butterfly preserves. A Scenic Byway designation from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Two historic lighthouses and five historic piers. The only drivable beach in California. Centuries-old forests. Hundreds of acres of coastal vineyards. Uncrowded white sand beaches. History and heritage at every turn with nine locales on the National Register. And Hearst Castle, a hilltop beauty that is a State and National Historic Landmark.

And that’s just the beginning.

Bury your toes in the sand and get to know the locals. Indulge in farm-fresh and ocean-fresh cuisine, and wines from family-owned vineyards. Glimpse abundant wildlife and historic wonders, all in the comfort of a laid-back culture and picture-perfect climate.

Want to plan the road trip of a lifetime? Follow your curiosity to our SLO CAL stretch of Highway 1, and let the wonder begin.

See the reviews

Based on 161 reviews.
GitchSup
GitchSup
May 30, 2022.
Verified
A stunning drive We traveled Highway 1 up the coastline and the views and vistas are stunning, if you get a chance to even drive a short bit of HWY 1 you should. A word of caution though, when the sign says there is a curve in the road it's not a suggestion!
Gabana
Gabana
April 24, 2022.
Verified
La plus belle route du monde Pour moi l’une des plus belles routes du monde, les paysages sont à couper le souffle tu es très changeant au fil des kilomètres parcourus. Je vous la conseille fortement.
Connie F
Connie F
February 2, 2022.
Verified
Beautiful area to drive through and hike around. This is a gorgeous area of the California coast line. Filled with wildlife and beautiful views you will not regret cruising through the local towns. There is low population and easy parking with tons of beach access.
Mr Muki
Mr Muki
July 12, 2021.
Verified
Unforgetable Fantastic views all along the road with several interesting stops along the way, Don't forget to stop at the sea lions.
Jill J
Jill J
June 30, 2021.
Verified
Amazing for the right travelers I have done countless beautiful road trips. This one was a true wow. You absolutely must take it if the following do not bother you. You cannot be on a time limit. There are simply too many walks to take, vistas to view, and other people doing the same to rush. It is unspoiled which is simply amazing, but with that there are VERY few places for a bathroom or food or gas purchase. If you need any of those you will be distracted- prepare. Do not come if you are afraid of heights, afraid of continuous hairpin turns, get annoyed driving behind people enjoying scenery or bring anyone who does. Once you are on this road you cannot get off. If you are fine with the above you will not want to. It would be a long drive with young children as it is gorgeous but the times to get out of the car are overlooks and can be a long way down. Now - if you are still interested you MUST take this trip. I could have stopped all day at any point just to absorb the experience. There are many state parks and trails along the way. My husband loved the actual driving. I would have driven off the road as I would have at one point or another been trying to take in the views. We went through periods of intense fog to complete clarity. Every stop was amazing but as others have mentioned the stop at the elephant seal rookery was a highlight. They are RIGHT there. When we were there we could see about 5 in the water but then if you go right or left they are laying all over the beach, sunning or fighting. I have a new vision of what I look and feel like after a good meal. In summary, if this remotely appeals to you, make the time. Words are inadequate to describe.
Debora B
Debora B
March 20, 2021.
Verified
WOW so pretty so pretty. this place is really one of a kind. the view is simply breath taking. Great opportunities for photos
David P
David P
October 22, 2020.
Verified
Convertible road trip Traveling on a Convertible road trip with family. On our way from SLO to Hearst Castle, stopped along the way. Absolutely Beautiful.
Adina Morano E
Adina Morano E
August 6, 2020.
Verified
Not the short route, but worth the drive! I'm born and raised in California and don't drive this scenic route as often as I should. The California coastline is beautiful and unlike any other drive in CA. It's not a fast route, but worth the drive and make sure to stop once in a while.
pbesec a
pbesec a
July 21, 2020.
Verified
Breath taking A gorgeous drive and you should take your time to stop at any of the many turnouts and lookouts. Great opportunities for photos
Sannajo
Sannajo
April 1, 2020.
Verified
VACKERT! Vi åkte från San Francisco till Los Angeles och det var det vackraste jag sett!! Nånsin! Många ställen där man kunde stanna och fotografera.Underbart! Önskar alla människor fick uppleva detta ❤❤❤

Roadtrip of a Lifetime

Design your itinerary for spontaneous pull-overs, spectacular sunsets and lots of family fun.

What sets this stretch of Highway 1 apart?

  • 57 miles of historic highway, just begging to be explored
  • 100 miles of Pacific coastline, complete with miles of hiking and biking trails
  • 50 miles of protected coastline ― the most in all of California
  • A “scenic byway” designation by the U.S. Department of Transportation
  • A National Marine Sanctuary
  • A National Estuary, which is home to over 300 species of birds
  • 13 State Parks featuring untouched beaches; breathtaking scenery; rare close-ups of wildlife; centuries-old trees; a castle; and drivable dunes
  • An elephant seal rookery – one of the few left in California
  • A Monarch butterfly preserve, a destination of over 25,000 migrating butterflies annually
  • Five piers – all walkable and fish-able ― one is even drivable
  • Two historic lighthouses offering docent-led walks, kayak tours, and history
  • Hearst Castle, a National and California Historical Landmark
  • Miles of spacious white sand beaches
  • 10 Whale Trail locations ― the most of any county in California
  • A coastal wine region, home to boutique, award-winning wine producers
  • The only drivable beach in California, the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Area
  • Nine historic places on the National Register, ready to satisfy your curiosity

Destinations

Get to know our beach towns and vineyard-framed villages.

Upcoming Events

Your next adventure awaits

  • Jul
    2
    Morro Bay Art in the Park
    May 28 to September 05, 2022
    Morro Bay
    This annual show offers artists and crafts people a high quality outdoor setting to display and sell their wares to an appreciative audience.
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  • Jul
    4
    Pismo Beach
    Live bands will entertain visitors until 9pm, when the fireworks start! VIP seating is available on the pier for a charge. Arrive early in the day to stake out your best viewing spot on the sand. Bring some blankets and an umbrella for a great day at the beach. You can the kids can spend […]
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  • Jul
    4
    Avila Beach
    Come to Avila Beach for Independence Day and spending your morning enjoying a doggie parade.
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  • Jul
    4
    Cambria
    Cambria’s annual 4th of July celebration is held at Shamel Park starting at 11am, with family fun events, music and a BBQ all day long. Fireworks start at dusk. A trolley service will run from 10am to 6pm, from North Moonstone to Main Street to East Village with a turnaround at the Dog Park.
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  • Jul
    4
    4th of July Boat Parade
    July 04, 2022
    Avila Beach
    The San Luis Yacht Club presents the 4th of July Boat Parade in Avila Beach. Boats will line up at the Cal Poly Pier at 11:30am and parade through the bay at noon.
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  • Jul
    9
    Nipomo
    Enjoy this intimate performance on the adobe veranda by the nationally acclaimed cowboy entertainer, Dave Stamey.
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  • Jul
    14
    Slightly Stoopid Concert
    July 14, 2022
    Avila Beach
    The Slightly Stoopid Summer Traditions Tour 2022 returns to the Avila Beach Golf Resort. Join us for a great time with Slightly Stoopid, Pepper, Common Kings, and Fortunate Youth on Thursday, July 14, 2022. 
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  • Jul
    16
    Central Coast Renaissance Festival
    July 16 to July 17, 2022
    San Luis Obispo
    See knights in full battle armor demonstrating their fighting skills. This was so popular at the last festival that we just had to bring them back.
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  • Jul
    23
    Festival Mozaic
    July 23 to July 30, 2022
    San Luis Obispo County
    The Festival Mozaic summer concert series takes place every summer throughout the county.
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  • Jul
    24
    Hearst Ranch Mid-State Fair Winemaker Dinner
    July 24, 2022
    From: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
    Cambria
    Join Oceanpoint Ranch & Hearst Ranch Winery as we kick things up a notch this summer with Reds, Whites, and BBQ.
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  • Aug
    6
    Nipomo
    Activities include live historical reenactments, traditional dance performances, gold panning, portrayals of famous historical characters, food, and live entertainment.
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  • Aug
    7
    Art in the Park at Dinosaur Caves
    May 01 to December 04, 2022
    Pismo Beach
    Featuring over 50 artisan vendors, food booths, music and amazing views right on the cliffs in Pismo Beach.
    More Details

Plan Your Trip

Ready to design a vacation to remember? We can’t wait to see you here.

Where To Stay

Find Your Haven

This wonder-filled stretch of Highway 1 offers a wide variety of lodging options to ensure that your stay is an enjoyable one. Choose from oceanfront property, vineyard views, family-friendly suites and private retreats. Whether you’re looking for a historic inn, vacation rental or budget hotel, the Highway 1 Discovery Route promises to provide a comfortable hideaway.

Where To Eat

Bring An Appetite

Dining on this stretch reveals our embarrassment of riches, from farm to sea. Taste seafood straight from the waves, produce dewey from the morning’s harvest, and bread still warm from the oven. From tacos in Oceano to oysters in Cambria, barbecue in Nipomo to apple pie in Avila Beach, we’ve got great taste. What’s more? We’re more than happy to share. So pull up a chair, fill your glass, and settle in for what’s sure to be a delicious stay.

Activities

Be Amazed

Let our stretch of Highway 1 astound you. Start the day off-roading on the dunes and finish with a glass of wine and vineyard view. Build sandcastles one hour and witness the decadence of a real-life castle the next. Watch whales dance offshore, then dance like a local at a street festival. The rewards are great in our neck of the woods, and they’re all yours for the taking.

#Highway1Dreaming